Innovative courses open up new worlds for Carnegie Mellon students
New ‘micro courses’ introduce wide variety of topics, new ideas
Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar (CMU-Q) has introduced micro courses, a new option for students to learn about a wide variety of topics that will complement their required coursework.
The micro courses are taught by professors from Carnegie Mellon’s main campus in a hybrid fashion, with part of the instruction in person, and part by videoconferencing. Micro courses cover a wide variety of topics like how artificial intelligence (AI) affects society, blockchain applications, computational medicine and environmental ideas.
The dean of CMU-Q, Michael Trick, said, “We selected topics for the micro courses that would give our students a new perspective. For instance, in the required courses they learn about AI, so we offered micro courses that look at the ethics and the societal impact of that technology. We want them to understand the broader context of what they are learning.”
Micro courses can teach material in fields outside the main CMU-Q undergraduate degree programs of biological sciences, business administration, computational biology, computer science and information systems.
Trick noted, “A Carnegie Mellon education includes a lot of coursework outside the main area of study. We are educating thoughtful citizens and people who we hope will shape the world in a careful, considerate way.”
With about 400 students at the Qatar campus, CMU-Q students have identical degree requirements to Carnegie Mellon students on the main campus. Although there are benefits to studying at a small campus, one down-side is a more limited selection of electives.
Trick is working to provide more options for students at CMU-Q. “We encourage our students to take courses at our partner universities in Education City, and we encourage them to study abroad for one semester. Micro courses are simply another option for them to expand their view of the world.”
CMU-Q will offer 10 micro courses in the spring 2020 semester.